Herbie Hancock was born in Chicago 1940, He was a piano prodigy and started playing jazz in high school. He then attended Grinnell College and majored in music and electrical engineering. In 1960 Donald Byrd, trumpeter discovered Hancock. After working with Byrd, Phil Woods and Oliver Nelson, Hancock signed to Blue Note as a solo artist.
In the early 60s Herbie Hancock was asked to play in Miles Davis’s first jazz-rock experiments. In the 1970s Hancock started fusion bands. Jazz fusion is when musicians combined jazz harmony and improvisation with rock music, funk, rhythm and blues, and R&B. Instead of the use of piano and double bass like other versions of Jazz Fusion uses electric guitar, synthesizers and bass guitar.
When Hancock started incorporating these instruments he brought himself to the forefront of jazz. With that, he created the “Head Hunters” album which was a pivot in his career.
Many people try to make artist compositions their own making them known to the world. Instead of making someone else’s music into his own version of jazz fusion Hancock turned his own song watermelon man and put a jazz fusion twist on it. Hancock uses the electric keyboard and organs. The Head Hunters version of “Watermelon Man” has more of a soul, R&B twist to it.
The Head Hunters album paved the way for electric sound with Jazz and eventually influence other genres of music. It changed the way people listened to music.